When dealing with egos, sometimes the hardest one to deal with is the person who is looking back at you in the mirror.
Highly effective leaders are also highly confident people. They are confident in their own ability to achieve great results. With being confident, they are also consistent in achieving great results which builds up momentum for themselves, the team, and the organisation.
It is this momentum that attracts attention to the highly effective leader, and other people in the organisation want to follow them.
1. Confidence Requires Humility
As we discussed in a previous article “Do You Have Humility?” it is very important to have humility along with your confidence. There is the danger of becoming over confident as you keep improving, and your results improve.
Highly effective leaders always have humility along with their confidence, this is a leadership trait that all highly effective leaders possess.
I’m not saying you can’t have pride in what you have achieved, or feel great about yourself. But, it is important that you portray an image of self-confidence and not arrogance in thinking how amazing you are.
How would this sound to you if I said this? “I am a person who believes in my own abilities. I am confident in myself. I take pride in what I do and what I have achieved in my life so far. I know who I am, and what I want to achieve in the future. I have a plan for my future.”
Does that seem arrogant or confident? It is confident. If you think that it seems arrogant, or you would find it difficult to have pride in yourself, then it is because of how you behave when you are taking pride in yourself.
Anyone who finds it difficult to be proud of who they are, what they’ve achieved, and their abilities are probably coming across a bit cocky, or over confident. Confidence and arrogance are so close, and the only way to not appear arrogant or cocky is to have humility.
To learn about humility then go back to my article “Do You Have Humility?”. If you don’t have humility when you are being confident, then you will come across as cocky. That is a huge mistake when working towards becoming a highly effective leader.
2. Building Trust
A highly effective leader builds trust with his/her teammates, their leader, and the organisation. If you are cocky then your teammates, leader, and eventually your organisation will not trust you at all. You will eventually be disliked by everyone.
If that happens it will be impossible to become a highly effective leader. The main difference between a person who is confident and a person who is cocky is what they believe. A confident person believes that they are good at what they do. A cocky person believes that they are better than everybody else at what they do.
Highly effective leaders actually use their confidence for the good of the team. They will use it to help raise the levels of the rest of the team, and encourage them to become highly effective leaders too. They use their confidence to keep adding value every day to their teammates and their organisation.
A cocky leader will subtract value from their teammates and organisation. A highly effective leader will openly share their knowledge to help increase their influence, but most importantly increase the confidence in their teammates. A highly effective leader is always confident, and they are never cocky.
People who are confident are usually confident in two areas. They are confident in themselves through what they believe/know, and experienced in their life. They are also confident in their abilities, skills, and competencies through what they have done either academically, or through their work.
A highly effective leader is confident in both areas, and it’s important that they maintain these confidences if they are to consistently keep achieving great results, help improve their teammates, and help their organisation grow.
3. Being Confident In Yourself
Being confident in yourself means that you have core beliefs and you live out your values 100%. Even when you are challenged on your core beliefs and values, you will not budge or be persuaded to believe something different. You do this because of the lessons you have learned, and the experiences you have had in your life.
For example, my core belief is that leadership needs to be taught differently to managers, and team members. Hence why I am writing articles and other materials on the subject.
I know this because of my experience of being a team member for the last 21 years, and an engineering manager for the last 11 years. Being confident in yourself is what makes you unique, and this confidence develops as you grow your character.
Being confident in your abilities, skills, and competencies means that you are certain within yourself. You 100% believe that you have the ability to complete a certain task.
For example, I 100% believe that I can teach and develop managers to become highly effective leaders, and I can teach and develop team members to increase their influence and become highly effective leaders.
If you keep developing your own competency, then this confidence will develop also. This is why we need to work on ourselves every day.
At present, you are learning something new in becoming a highly effective leader. So, you won’t be 100% confident in your abilities, skills, and competence yet. So, you can’t be 100% confident all the time.
You may move positions from team member to manager, so you would lack some knowledge at first and will need to build it up over time with experience and training.
There will be times when you will lack confidence in other members of your team, and their abilities to complete tasks. So there are areas outside of your control that you will lack confidence in too.
Being confident in yourself is all up to you. At present you may or may not have self-confidence, but that is all about your character and if you are developing it or not. As you are reading my articles, you are growing and character building.
So your self-confidence will be increasing. Your ability to learn new things is increasing too, and that again will increase your self-confidence.
You need to be confident in yourself if you want to increase your confidence in your abilities, skills, and competence. The two areas of confidence go hand in hand, and you need be confident in both areas if you are to become a highly effective leader.
But, you need to have humility in both areas too, otherwise you will come across as cocky and arrogant.
4. Knowing Your Strengths And Weaknesses
Highly effective leaders are confident in both areas because the 100% know what they believe and what they know, and 100% confident in their abilities, skills, and competence. The reason they are 100% confident in these areas is because they are also 100% confident in what they either don’t know, or can’t yet do.
They are confident in themselves to admit what they don’t know, or can’t yet do. They don’t try to pull the wool over people’s eyes or pretend that they know something when they don’t. They will go and find the knowledge they require from further learning, or ask a member of their team who has the knowledge to help them.
That is the only way they can successfully complete a task if they don’t fully have the knowledge or skills, and still remain 100% confident.
Earlier in my career when I was in University, if someone was to challenge me about what knowledge I had, or skills, then I would get very defensive about it. Sometimes I would feel offended.
Thinking back now, that was actually very cocky of me because I was not considering the other person’s observation of me. They were not trying to insult me, they were trying to help me. I thought I was better than I actually was, and I couldn’t see it.
Now, I look at this type of situation from both sides, and if the other person is right about me, then I am confident enough in myself about what I know, but also what I don’t know. I take pride in myself that I have this confidence, and that is why I am sharing it with you.
I invite you to do the same in sharing the knowledge you have with your team, others in your organisation, and even your friends and family. This will increase your influence, your confidence in yourself, and also keep you on the right path to becoming a highly effective leader.
Accepting feedback on your abilities, skills, competence, and most importantly your performance is so important if you want to improve.
I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.
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All the best,